'Claim entirely without merit' - EFL responds to Sheffield Wednesday's latest statement as row rumbles on

Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri............Pic Steve EllisSheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri............Pic Steve Ellis
Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri............Pic Steve Ellis
The English Football League (EFL) has responded to Sheffield Wednesday’s counter claim against the organisation as being ‘entirely without merit’.

The club issued a statement confirming that an arbitration hearing will take place to determine the legality of the EFL's charge, which is in relation to the sale of Hillsborough.

The governing body charged the Owls, owner Chansiri, finance director John Redgate and former chief executive Katrien Meire with misconduct last month over the deal which saw the stadium sold to one of Chansiri's companies, and leased back.

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Their charges relate to "how and when" the ground was sold and its inclusion in Wednesday's 2017/18 accounts.

The statement from the club on Friday read: "The Club is proceeding with its arbitration claim against the EFL that the charges issued by the EFL are unlawful and the process of appointing the arbitrators is currently underway.

"No step will be taken in the disciplinary case, if at all, until the arbitration is resolved. The Club can confirm that it is not under embargo."

The EFL responded in a short statement, which read: “The EFL considers the claim brought by the club to be entirely without merit and is seeking an early determination to enable the disciplinary proceedings to continue.

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“As we have indicated previously it would therefore be inappropriate to make any further comment on this matter or related matters other than to reiterate, once again, that the EFL’s robust and comprehensive investigation fully justified the issuing of multiple charges of misconduct.”

Should the Owls be successful with their arbitration claim, it could be that the EFL's charge against them is dropped.

But if Wednesday lost their claim, it is understood the matter would then considered at an independent disciplinary commission. If Wednesday are found guilty by the commission, they could face "any sanction" under EFL regulation 92.2, including a possible points deduction or financial penalty.

The EFL had already insisted they had sufficient evidence to charge the Owls, but Wednesday have vowed to fight the allegations, claiming the governing body refused "to agree a sensible procedure" to resolve the row.